Wednesday, April 22, 2009

gratitude and perspective

Dear Family,

I have noticed something incredible in the past week. A principle that I wish I would have discovered long ago. Gratitude. I have been trying to spend more time reflecting on things that happen out here. As I do this, it becomes increasingly more clear just how much the Lord intervenes in this work. And in my life. I noticed that as I make a concerted effort to express my gratitude each day, the Lord just sends more. Its an amazing concept.

This past week was one of the best in my entire mission. Things were really tough the past month or so because of our situation. It was tough to find families to teach. I began to plead somewhat with the Lord, to somehow give us people to teach. That is exactly what happened. Through former investigators we had, referrals, and a little creativity we are now teaching quite a few good families.

One brother named Prem, whom we had never met before this past Sunday, made a huge sacrifice to come to church. Apparently he had been doing some work in a village about 4 hours away from Hyderabad. We did not know this information, but we called and invited him to church. On sunday he was there, he met with us after and shared how he has left the village at like 3 in the morning just to come to church. He is an amazing brother and I am sure that he will soon be a member of this church.

We have been working with the brother of a member lately. His name is Hilkias and he is such a good man. He is about 24 I think. He used to live in Bangalore, but recently moved back to H-town. We taught him for awhile but he was not showing much interest. He wouldn’t come to church either. We dropped him. Last week we went back and read from the book of mormon with him. Something had changed; he came to church and also started reading the chapters we assigned him. He came to church two weeks in a row and two days ago he bore his testimony to us. We set him for baptism in two weeks, if I am around to see that I'll be real happy.

There are so many good things happening here now. It is amazing to see what a little resiliency can do for an area. This area is looking the best it has since I got here. I am so grateful this week for the blessings that have been given to us. Also, my study has led me to some interesting conclusions lately. I have been thinking about perception. How everyone perceives the world around them differently. Then I think about how God sees the world. He sees it how it really is. He sees the truth. The only way for us to see the world like that is to be continuing in his word and allow the truth to set us free. Check out D&C 93:24 and John 8:31-32.

Love ya,
Elder Tuscano

(below are excerpts from individual letters to family)

Thanks a lot for including the information about our syrian family. They sound like a really hard working and faithful family. Islamic people continue to impress me. Their faith is incredible. The women especially, I don’t know how they get through the heat out here in their full burkas! Faith has got to be the only explanation. They really are a wonderful people with a beautiful culture. I am proud to be a quarter muslim. I tell people that all the time.

A typical day is like this. Usually we try to have some appointments in the morning. If not we go to the church and do some study. But we really try to have somewhere to go. Then lunch and back out to some appointments. In the afternoon we usually go to members houses because no one is really awake. Everyone takes huge naps in the middle of the day. At night we are somehow full booked with appointments. Such a blessing. So what you can understand from this is we go to appointments only. We still don’t wear ties or tags or talk to people outside. But President Nichols said that the restrictions would be progressively removed over the next two months.

Pictures I have been taking, sorry for not sending more home. I usually forget my camera at the flat. I will try to get some to you next week ok. And the CD will come, I am just waiting to get some more. So sorry for being bad about this, I'll try harder.

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